Section 142 CrPC: Injunction Pending Inquiry

Section 142 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) provides the legal mechanism for granting injunctions pending inquiry. An injunction is a judicial order that restrains a party from performing a particular act. This section is crucial in ensuring that justice is served by maintaining the status quo until a thorough investigation or trial is conducted.

section 142 crpc

The roots of Section 142 CrPC can be traced back to the colonial era when the British established the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure. These legal frameworks were designed to streamline judicial processes and ensure fair trials. Over the years, various amendments have refined Section 142 to adapt to the evolving legal landscape of India.

Bare Act. Section 142 Cr.P.C.
Injunction pending inquiry.

(1) If a Magistrate making an order under section 133 considers that immediate measures should be taken to prevent imminent danger or injury of a serious kind to the public, he may issue such an injunction to the person against whom the order was made, as is required to obviate or prevent such danger or injury pending the determination of the matter.
(2) In default of such person forthwith obeying such injunction, the Magistrate may himself use, or cause to be used, such means as he thinks fit to obviate such danger or to prevent such injury.
(3) No suit shall lie in respect of anything done in good faith by a Magistrate under this section.

Legal Framework and Structure

Section 142 CrPC falls under Chapter XII of the Code, which deals with inquiries, trials, and other criminal proceedings. It provides the courts with the authority to issue injunctions to prevent any action that might impede the course of justice. The primary objective is to maintain the integrity of the inquiry process by ensuring that no party can influence or alter the status quo.

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Injunction Pending Inquiry

An injunction pending inquiry is a provisional measure taken to prevent any irreparable harm or prejudice to any party involved in a legal proceeding. This type of injunction is granted when there is a prima facie case, meaning there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the party seeking the injunction is likely to succeed at the final hearing.

Conditions for Granting Injunctions

Courts consider several factors before granting an injunction pending inquiry. These include the likelihood of success on the merits of the case, the potential for irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted, and the balance of convenience between the parties. The court must be convinced that the injunction will not cause undue hardship or harm to the opposing party.

Case Studies Highlighting Section 142 CrPC

Several landmark cases have highlighted the application of Section 142 CrPC. In these cases, the courts have elucidated the principles and conditions under which injunctions can be granted. These case studies provide valuable insights into the judicial reasoning and interpretation of this provision.

Impact on Legal Proceedings

The provision of injunctions pending inquiry significantly impacts legal proceedings. It helps to prevent any actions that might compromise the integrity of the trial or inquiry. This ensures that justice is not only done but is seen to be done, thereby maintaining public confidence in the judicial system.

Role of Judiciary in Section 142 CrPC

The judiciary plays a pivotal role in the application of Section 142 CrPC. Judges must exercise their discretion judiciously, ensuring that the injunction serves the ends of justice. Their role involves a careful assessment of the facts, evidence, and legal principles to determine the necessity and appropriateness of the injunction.

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Comparative Analysis with Other Legal Provisions

A comparative analysis of Section 142 CrPC with other legal provisions reveals its unique characteristics and significance. Unlike other injunctions provided under civil laws, injunctions under Section 142 CrPC are specific to criminal proceedings, highlighting the intersection of criminal justice and equitable relief.

Challenges and Controversies

The application of Section 142 CrPC is not without challenges and controversies. Critics argue that it can be misused to delay proceedings or harass the opposing party. There are also debates regarding the scope and limits of judicial discretion in granting these injunctions.

Recent Amendments and Updates

Recent amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure have further refined the application of Section 142. These amendments aim to address the challenges and enhance the efficacy of the provision. Staying updated with these changes is crucial for legal practitioners and scholars.

Practical Implications for Legal Practitioners

For legal practitioners, understanding the intricacies of Section 142 CrPC is essential. It requires a thorough knowledge of the procedural aspects and the ability to present a compelling case for or against the granting of an injunction. This section also underscores the importance of strategic litigation planning.

Public Perception and Awareness

Public perception and awareness of Section 142 CrPC are relatively limited. Efforts to educate the public about their legal rights and the significance of this provision can help in promoting transparency and accountability in the judicial process.


Section 142 CrPC plays a critical role in the Indian judicial system by providing a mechanism for injunctions pending inquiry. It ensures that the course of justice is not obstructed and that parties are protected from irreparable harm during legal proceedings. Understanding its application, challenges, and recent developments is essential for legal professionals and scholars.

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Frequently Asked Questions

An injunction pending inquiry can be granted when there is a prima facie case, potential for irreparable harm, and the balance of convenience favors the party seeking the injunction.

It ensures that no actions are taken that could compromise the integrity of the trial or inquiry, thereby maintaining the status quo.

Challenges include potential misuse to delay proceedings and controversies regarding judicial discretion.

Yes, recent amendments aim to address challenges and enhance the efficacy of the provision.

Public awareness promotes transparency, accountability, and an understanding of legal rights.